It’s been another bumper year of diverse events and exhibitions in the Galleries.

Over in the Treasures of the Brotherton, our exhibitions have changed from Shakespeare in Yorkshire to the British community in 1917 Russia to cookbooks and their collectors throughout the ages. Such a varied range of themes has inspired fascinating lunchtime talks and innovative interactive events including setting the table for a medieval banquet and Baroque musical concerts.

Perhaps one of the most memorable evenings of 2017 was the annual Museums at Night event in May. We joined forces with The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery on the other side of Parkinson Court and provided a variety of thought-provoking activities based on our Caught in the Russian Revolution: The British Community in Petrograd, 1917 – 1918 exhibition. There were spine-tingling pop-up choir performances of Rachmaninov’s Vespers which were banned in Soviet Russia, following the Russian Revolution. We also had a creative writing workshop; dramatic readings by stage@leeds which drew upon striking eyewitness accounts of the Russian Revolution; drop-in embroidery craft, inspired by a precious piece of embroidery on display in the ‘Saved in the Russian Revolution’ exhibition and Rachmaninov’s stirring music was available to listen to on individual sets of headphones.

A night to remember!

Museums at Night 207

In The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery we have had a year of Yorkshire sculpture with exhibitions celebrating two of the University’s Gregory Fellows, and a fantastic FUAM Graduate Art Prize show showcasing the talents of our recent Fine Art and Art and Design graduates.

The prestigious and pioneering Gregory Fellowship scheme began at the University in 1950 under the patronage of Eric Craven Gregory, Chair of Bradford-based printers Percy Lund Humphries. Fellowships were undertaken in poetry, music, painting and sculpture. Kenneth Armitage: Sculpture and Drawing of the 1950s formed part of a programme of exhibitions and events across Leeds that continue to celebrate the centenary of Kenneth Armitage’s birth in 2016. Visitors engaged with Armitage’s striking figures in an artist-led workshop creating interlinking wire sculptural forms. Austin Wright: Emerging Forms, currently on display, explores the artist’s Fellowship as a key period for his practice through an incredible body of work. Seeing the huge aluminium sculptures hanging from the ceiling is certainly a first for the Gallery!

We celebrated the fantastic paintings by Zoe Carlon (Fine Art), overall judges’ winner of the FUAM Graduate Art Prize. Zoe’s works were displayed alongside finalists Olivia Loker (Fine Art), Lucy Davidson (Art and Design) and Miranda Jones (Art and Design). We were impressed with the quality of all the works!

2017 Gallery exhibitions

October saw the Galleries coming together to join the multi-arts and light festival Light Night, celebrated across the city of Leeds. In the Art Gallery we ‘connected the Marshall threads’ with artist Alice Clayden who taught over 100 visitors how to finger-knit and contribute to a unique textile installation. ‘Voices of Light and Dark’ echoed through the Treasures Gallery, treating visitors to a special display of illuminated poetry from the archives of Special Collections and the University of Leeds Poetry Centre. A very moving experience for many.

Light Night 2017

We’re sure you’ll agree that it has been a fantastic year for the Galleries and we already have lots of exciting events and exhibitions planned for 2018.

See you in the New Year!